Interview: New York Giants’ Prince Amukamara Talks Love, Being A Real Prince And The Super Bowl
The last three years of Prince Amukamara’s life read like a movie: unanimous All-American college football player, Super Bowl champion as a rookie, regarded as a building block for the future of a perennial NFL title contender, getting engaged to the love of his life with the help of a world renowned dance crew. Other than his team being 0-6 right now, Amukamara living a lifestyle that French Montana could appreciate. Get to know more about the young prince (yes, he’s really a prince) in the Q+A below. –Terrence Watson
VIBE: Your lifestyle (no fast food, no drinking, no sex before marriage) is well documented and you’re proud to be who you are. Is it ever in the back of your mind that you’re a role model or is that just a by-product of how you choose to live anyway?
Prince Amukamara: I don’t think people sign up to be role models. If you’re living and breathing you can be one. All it takes is one person or young kid to identify themselves with you and think that you’re someone who they might want to model themselves after. But to be frank, I am a role model and some kids have told me that.
That’s dope, but everyone has a vice or something they just can’t go without. I can’t go more than two days without eating peanut M&M’s. What do you enjoy that most people don’t know about?
Something I can’t stay away from is my fiancée (laughs). Sweets would be mine, I enjoy ice cream. When my fiancé is in town she makes this giant cookie called a pizookie and you put ice cream on. That or when I go to Cold Stone, I get the birthday cake remix and add three Reese’s cups.
Bruh, get the Apple Pie a la Cold Stone next time you go. It’s basically apple pie filling, pie crust, caramel. It’s unreal.
What? I’ve never had that. I gotta try it.
Thank me later. Is there anything else that you’d say you like to indulge in?
I’m always on social media, especially Instagram. Whether it’s celebs I like to creep on or just being on for instant news and entertainment. Like if you follow LBJ, you get to hear him as who he is instead of in an interview or something scripted.
Is LeBron your favorite follow?
Nah, I wouldn’t say that.
So who’s your favorite person to follow?
I don’t know. The people who I like to creep on I don’t really follow (laughs). I can’t even say.
You don’t wanna give that up, huh?
That’s a cool thing about today’s age in sports. You can get instant feedback from fans. What are the interactions between you and your fans on twitter normally like?
Twitter gives everyone a voice so if you have ANY opinion, you get to share it. If you’re a regular person you can say anything without being penalized for it. IF you have a bad game, it’s funny to see what the fans say. I’ve gotten so many things but I remember my first year I got beat for a deep ball. Not saying it was or wasn’t my fault, but people said things like you can chase lions and tigers but you can’t chase down a receiver?
(Laughs) You ever tweet back?
Yeah, if someone says something like that, I’ll say something back and then they’re shocked. They’ll say I’m sorry, I’m just a frustrated fan. I always tweet back a smiley face or something random like hey, I love you guys. If I tweet how I really feel it’ll blow up and become too much.
Congrats on your engagement. The video of you busting moves with the jabbawockeez and proposing is awesome. Thank you for putting the rest of us to shame. How’d you come up with that and at what point did she (his fiancée, Pilar Davis) know it was you?
I’ve been a jabbawockeez fan since America’s Best Dance Crew when I was a freshman in college. I went to their show in Vegas and thought they’re so creative and if I ever propose to anyone, that would be the best way to do it.
I thought she’d like bawl, but she told me she was so shocked all she could do was act normal. She knew it was me (Pilar in the background: ‘They’re all smaller than you, I could tell it was you).
Are you getting them to perform at the reception? Or at least inviting them to the wedding?
That’s a great question! I never thought about that. That’s a good idea.
Maybe they can come up with a routine that both of you can do.
(Yells to his fiancée) Pilar, he said they should do a routine at the wedding and we should learn it for our first dance. We have to do that!
I’m coming up with all these ideas, I better get an invite to the wedding now too. (Laughs). It’s pretty well known that you’re Nigerian nobility, but are you really next in line to be a chief?
Yeah, I am but when I tell people I’m a prince it’s not like Prince William and Harry. My dad is a chief in a village and we do come from a royal family. I’m considered a prince, but for me to be an active prince, my dad would have to be there which he doesn’t. Someone else in our family is ruling the village now.
How much do people in Nigeria know about your football achievements and which are you more famous for there: being a prince or being a super bowl winning cornerback?
Football for sure. Status and money is everything over there. I went back in March for my sister’s wedding and it’s chaos. If you’re from America, they look at you with a different eye because you live here.
Speaking of Super Bowls, every player that wins early in their career says it’s a huge rush and you feel like you’ll be there again. Was that a similar feeling for you?
Yeah, it’s the greatest achievement in our sport. It’s what you play for as a kid and to experience it as a rookie was amazing. Someone told me it’s not like that every year and I’m experiencing that now. We didn’t make the playoffs last year and this year we’re 0-6. But guys play for 13 years and don’t win a playoff game or make the playoffs at all so I don’t take it for granted.
Going from Super Bowl to struggling to make the playoffs has to be difficult. Do the goals change now every time you put on no.20?
Team goals are still the same, we want to get it done and go 1-0 every week. We’re only two games out of the running for winning our division and with 10 games left, it can be done. Personal goals, as a pro and in the NFL, I’m always trying to reassure the Giants they didn’t waste a pick when they chose me. I’m trying to give them their return on their investment by earning as many honors as I can. You’re measured by pro bowls, awards and being the best at my position to help my team be the best.
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